Starbucks’ new limited-edition holiday drinks are designed to look like decorated Christmas trees…but do they taste like them?

After releasing their Gingerbread and Christmas Cake drinks and White Chocolate Snow Frappuccinos last month, Starbucks has now added a third Japan-exclusive beverage to their 2018 Christmas range: the Pistachio Christmas Tree Frappuccino.

On sale from today, our Frappuccino-loving Japanese-language reporter K. Masami was determined to be one of the first to get a taste of the drinks this morning, so she arrived bright and early at her local Starbucks and saw that the new drink was being welcomed with some customary fanfare.

Posters outside and inside the store showed the new Christmas-themed beverage in all its glory, looking beautiful in glossy festive hues of red and green. And as a special present, each cold drink comes with a special star-adorned straw, so you can really make it look like a Christmas tree.

Masami ordered one each of the hot and cold Pistachio Christmas Tree drinks, and while she hadn’t been feeling Christmassy yet this season, for the first time this year she could feel the first tingles of the holiday spirit begin to seep into her fingertips as she reached out for a sip.

The first festive motif that caught her eye was the gorgeous green whipped cream topping on both drinks, which set them a world apart from last year’s Candied Pistachio release. The hot Pistachio Christmas Tree was rich, creamy and nutty, and when Masami blended the slightly tart berry sauce into the drink, it lifted all the flavours, bringing them together to create a refreshing and delightfully aromatic hot beverage.

When it came time to try the cold Pistachio Christmas Tree Frappuccino, Masami couldn’t tear her eyes away from the gorgeous green, white and red festive images on the cup.

The colour theme continued inside, with the colourful topping designed to resemble a green Christmas tree adorned with a big red bow. 

Masami had fun attaching the gold star to the straw, which is designed to act like a mini tree-lighting ceremony, and as she went in for a sip, all the clever imagery attached to the beverage made her feel like she was tasting a Christmas tree for the first time.

So what does a Christmas tree taste like? If this Starbucks version is anything to go by, a Christmas tree comes with a double-nut hit, made up of pistachio sauce and small crunchy macadamia nut pieces, and a bright flourish of flavour, with the tart red raspberry sauce. While Masami worried that these ingredients might make the drink taste too nutty or too tart, she needn’t have worried, as the rich cream base wrapped everything together nicely for a delicious, well-balanced mix of flavours. 

Pistachio and raspberry are a winning flavour combination, and Masami highly recommends stopping by to try one if you can. Not only are the drinks delicious, they’re also a whole lot of fun, which is really what the festive season is all about.

The hot Pistachio Christmas tree is available in a variety of sizes, starting from 450 yen (US$3.96) while the Pistachio Christmas Tree Frappuccino is sold in a tall size only for 590 yen. Both drinks will be available at Starbucks outlets only until Christmas Day.

Photos © SoraNews24  
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